A Chapter Leader’s Perspective on the National Board
This blog is a part of our monthly Board Member series.
It took me a while to write this post. I wanted to tell a story about the perspective of a former chapter leader on the National Board. And if you know me personally, then you know I tend to ramble on without a point (insert ideations for postmodern literary glory here). Then I attended a YNPN New Mexico board meeting briefly the other day and realized that I couldn’t tell a story about my perspective, I had to tell one from our perspective.
A few weeks ago, YNPN-NM wrapped up its first Learning Circle of the year, our sixth annual. Our focus for the five-week session was Nonprofit 101, in which we sought an audience who was new to the nonprofit sector and needed some extra professional development. The topics ranged from vision-creation, marketing/communications, building out a position and methods for self-care. We assigned members of our board to facilitate different seminars throughout the five-week session. We identified the best applicants for those sessions and then, just went and did it. We played a small role in finding the space and the speaker for the sessions and facilitated amazing conversations with new members of our nonprofit community.
All of NM’s board is composed of young, nonprofit superstars who are at various stages in their careers, some are development directors (or have been), some are executive directors (or were at one point) and some are program managers and coordinators. Heck, one of our board members is the head of finance for a hospital. An entire flipping hospital. The point is that they all do YNPN in their spare time. And beyond that, they volunteer for YNPN on top of other volunteer gigs and commitments to family. For Learning Circles, I can only imagine the numerous hours it took to coordinate with all the speaker presentations, write up the appropriate marketing materials, review the applications, notifying applicants, procuring the coffee and food and getting the space ready.
"I couldn't help but think about how a network-mindset is so critical for how we move the mission forward."
I know this is just a small cross-section of what’s happening with YNPN all over the country. And it’s this perspective that informs why I’m on the National Board. Because I know of all the work that makes our chapter go. It’s a labor of love that occurs tirelessly year to year and other chapters are similar. We’ve been talking about network-mindset a lot these past few months at the national board and now more with all of the chapters. Last month, Caitie Deranek talked about how we fundraise for the network-mindset. I couldn’t help but think about how a network-mindset is so critical for how we move the mission forward. And within that, it's all of you, the chapter leaders, board, YNPN members and more, that move our mission forward day to day with all your love and dedication for the social sector.
Robert Nelson is a nonprofit consultant and has worked in nonprofit for the last six years. Previously, he worked for Heading Home, helping house Albuquerque’s most vulnerable homeless people and Rio Grande Food Project, serving hungry New Mexicans. He is a long time volunteer in our community, having served on the boards of New Mexico Solar Energy Association and New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. He has been involved with Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) New Mexico and YNPN’s National Board, serving on their Network Engagement and National Voice Committees. Read more about Robert's background here.